WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / Disposables / Foam Food Shippers Buying Guide

Foam Food Shippers Buying Guide

Keeping food fresh is essential, but can be difficult when transporting food out of the kitchen. That's where foam insulated food shipping containers come in. Ideal for companies that ship foods across the country, foam insulated food shippers keep cold foods cold and frozen foods frozen during long journeys.

Shop Insulated Food Shipping Containers and Boxes

Types of Insulated Shipping Boxes

Insulated food shipping containers are typically made of polystyrene foam, better known as Styrofoam. These Styrofoam containers include a cardboard shipping carton to ensure no damage comes to the foam casing or its contents on its way to your customers.

They are reusable and recyclable, consisting of a flat, tight-fitting lid and seamless, molded body. Inexpensive, durable, and an exceptional insulator, Styrofoam is the perfect product to preserve food temperatures while shipping any number of products including: frozen meat, produce, dairy products, and more.

Besides general shipping containers, there are specialty containers for shipping pies, cakes, and pizzas as well as containers for shipping food pans, all of which range from 8-25" in length/diameter. Below, we list the most common types of insulated shipping boxes.

Food Pan Shippers

Food pan shippers are designed to fit 2 half size or 1 full size food pan. They have a thick 1 1/2" wall for superior insulation in order to keep your food fresh and well contained.

Nordic insulated shipping box on wood cutting board

General Shippers

These shipping boxes are offered in large and extra large sizes. General shippers have a 1" wall thickness and are ideal to ship products such as candies, cookies, fruits, cheeses, vegetables, and more.

Multi-Depth Shippers

Multi-depth shippers have a variety of depths for versatility. They can be used to ship numerous prepared food products and desserts where extra depth is needed.

Overnight Shippers

Overnight shippers are much thinner than the other insulated shipping boxes. Their thickness is only 3/4" and they do not provide as much insulation due to the limited time the food will be in the box. These boxes are less expensive and are perfect for when you need to get your foods to your destination very fast.

How To Ship Food in Insulated Boxes

Failing to insulate foods can ruin the product, making proper shipping methods necessary. Foam insulated food shippers are available in numerous shapes and sizes to fit anything from berries to meat products. With so many options, selecting the proper shipping container may seem daunting, but there are several basic guidelines to simplify the process. Check out our How to Ship Food guide for more information.


When choosing a food shipping container, consider the following:

  • You need to leave room for cold packs on each side
  • Any empty space will need to be filled to prevent the food from moving around
  • You need to place your box in a cardboard box with the appropriate labels for shipping

These foam insulated shipping containers are durable, yet lightweight to cut down on shipping costs. To ship:

  1. Insert your food item
  2. Surround it with packing material and/or cold packs to preserve temperature and keep your product from shifting in transit
  3. Place the two-piece foam container into the included cardboard shipping box and send as you would a non-food package
These containers can be shipped using UPS, FedEx, Airfreight, Parcel Postal, or others.

Insulated Shipping Box Sizes FAQs

Hand placing meat in insulated shipping container

Choosing the right insulated shipping box or container for your food or beverage can be a larger task than you expected. Refrence our frequently asked questions for some extra guidance.

What size of shipping container do I need?

To ensure your product will fit in the container properly, first measure your product. Add 1 1/2" to your product's depth dimension and 3" to its length and width dimensions. This leaves room to surround your product with solid packing material and/or cold packs to keep your product in place and at the proper temperature. Containers are available with both square and round interiors and include an interlocking design on the base and lid of each container for easy stacking and storage.

How thick should my container be?

This is an important part of picking the correct container and it depends on how far you need to ship your product. Thicker Styrofoam provides better insulation, allowing for longer shipping times. Longer shipping times mean you can ship greater distances and reach a wider range of customers. Wall thicknesses range from 3/4" - 1 1/2". 3/4" - 1 1/4" walls allow for a shipping time of 1-2 days while 1 1/2" walls allow for a shipping time of up to 5 days.

What if I ship a lot of items with different shapes and sizes?

We carry most shapes and sizes of containers as well as "Expand-Em" series multi-depth shipping containers. The Expand-Em series uses a tongue-and-groove locking system that allows all sizes of foam tops and bottoms to be interchanged, so you can choose your desired container depth.

How to package wine for shipping?

It is important to use the appropriate wine shipping containers to ensure there is no breakage in transit. It is important to note that you cannot ship wine or alcohol without a license. Additionally, you must check with your local government and UPS to ensure you are following all of the rules and regulations.

Selecting the proper size food shipping container for your food product is important. It is essential to choose the right shipping container for your food or beverage to ensure it stays at its necessary temperature during the entire transit.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

Related Resources

May 2024 WebstaurantStore Coupon Code

Spring is in full bloom, and to celebrate Webstaurantstore is offering a variety of amazing monthly deals! In May, you'll discover incredible prices on beverageware, dessert ingredients, and food packaging supplies. Take a look at our selection of sale items below and don't forget to enter the code MAYFLOWERS at checkout to enjoy savings of up to 30%! We're also excited to introduce the new Webstaurant Rewards® Visa Business Card ! Sign up for a new card today and start earning rewards on every WebstaurantStore purchase. Use Coupon Code: MAYFLOWERS Finest Call Premium Tropical Puree Mix 1 Liter reg. $4.19 Each $3.77 Shop Now Blue Henry Dried Blood Orange Slices - 20+ Slices per Box reg. $12.49 Each $8.74 Shop Now Fee Brothers 5 fl. oz. Oran

What Is a HACCP Plan?

A HACCP plan, which stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan, is a systematic approach to food safety . These plans help you identify, reduce, and react to biological, chemical, and physical hazards that may compromise the safety of food products. HACCP plans apply to all stages of the food chain, from production and processing to distribution and consumption. It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) require mandatory HACCP programs for certain industry sectors, such as juice and meat processing facilities. Click any of the tips below to skip to the HACCP information that interests you: Hazard Analysis Determine Critical Control Points Estab

How to Ship Food

Shipping food presents a unique challenge, requiring the proper containers and procedures to ensure the food arrives in good condition. From appropriate packaging to temperature control methods, various factors impact your food's quality when it reaches its destination. In addition to explaining how to ship food, we describe what shipping supplies you'll need, how to use dry ice, and answer common questions so you can ship food with minimal issues. Shop All Shipping Supplies Use the following links to learn how to ship food: How to Ship Frozen Food How to Ship Refrigerated Items How to Ship Meat Shipping with Dry Ice How to Ship Dried Food Types of Food Shipping Containers Types of Coolants Shipping Food FAQ

Join Our Mailing List

Receive coupon codes and more right to your inbox.

Recipe converter
WebstaurantStore blog
Videos of demonstrations, how-tos and more